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Woburn-Born Shooter Battles Injury and Loss to Compete in Olympics

Monday, August 13, 2012

 

Image courtesy USOC/Long Photography

When Sarah Scherer dislocated her elbow just fourteen days before her Olympic competition, she was determined her injury would not prevent her from achieving her goals.

“Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for more from my body because it healed very well and healed very fast. It hurt and it was definitely an extra challenge, but I still was able to put my best foot forward in the competition,” Scherer said.

Scherer was born and raised in Woburn, Massachusetts. She now resides in Fort Worth, Texas and is heading into her senior year at Texas Christian University.

She finished seventh overall in the finals of the women’s 10-meter air rifle competition, a huge accomplishment for someone of her age. She was the youngest competitor in the finals, as older, more experienced athletes usually excel in the sport of shooting.

“Despite my challenges and so forth, I was very happy with it. I put in a good effort, and I performed solid, and that’s all you can ask for,” Scherer said of her 2012 London performance.

The fact that Scherer was able to battle back from injury to compete in the London Games was an achievement in itself. She “went through one of the most intense sets of therapies an athlete could do,” training between eight and 12 hours a day leading up to competition.

Her elbow injury was not the only adversity Scherer had to overcome. Scherer’s brother Stephen died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in October 2010, just two years after he competed in the 2008 Beijing Games. Stephen was also an Olympic shooter, and had competed in the same event in Beijing that Sarah competed in at the London Games.

Scherer took the loss of her brother hard, as they had always been close. It was Stephen who first signed up for the Air Rifle Association in Massachusetts, and soon took Scherer along. Scherer and her mother traveled to Beijing to support Steven in his competition, and Stephen volunteered as an assistant coach of the rifle team at Scherer’s university.

Despite the hardships, Scherer is enjoying her time in London. “It’s so cool to be here… I love the city,” she says. She also enjoys the atmosphere of the Athletes’ Village and meeting the other competitors. She is close with her teammates, and acknowledges that they have supported her every step of the way.

This will not be the last the world sees of Scherer. She is confident that this is only the first of more Olympic Games and has her aspirations aimed even higher for Rio.

“Coming back to Rio in 2016, I’m definitely going for the gold,” Scherer said.

 

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